Flying different kinds of airplanes gets confusing. After flying one plane exclusively for my PPL training I started sampling other kinds of planes. It's been a good experience but I'm ready now to settle down and concentrate on flying Ken's Cardinal.

Every airplane flies a bit different. The three Cessnas I've flown (172SP, 177RG, and 182S) are all roughly similar planes. But each has a different engine, a different feel, and for the 177 extra complexity. The feel is most noticeable when landing. All three planes claim you land at about 65kts. But the 172 feels much slower, is light on the controls, forgiving if you flare a little too high. The 182 is incredibly heavy and you have to drive it nose down until the last second, then haul back quickly (but not too quickly!) while using trim to manage the weight. The 177 is somewhere inbetween and despite the oddity of its stabilator design flares quite nicely.

I just got about 10 hours flying the Cirrus SR22 turbo, a Lexus in comparison the various Volkswagens I've been flying. It's fast, elegant, and has a beautifully designed glass cockpit. Really fun plane, I particularly like having turbonormalized power so the plane just flies better the higher you go. The Cirrus is challenging to land, it's faster and heavier than what I'm used to and the tail design means you have to be careful not to flare too much. I found the Cirrus a real handful, it'd take me awhile still before I'd be comfortable flying it solo.

I'm impressed with flight instructors who move from type to type every day, flying everything they're in. All planes fly more or less the same, I guess, but I need more experience flying before switching planes. For now I plan to fly nothing but the Cardinal for a few months, get really comfortable in it.

  2010-09-03 16:09 Z